Learn how important and good for the body lycopene is, the component that is not only good for the heart, but good for over-all health, as well!
Benefits of Lycopene
We have all heard how a variety of tomato products in the supermarket have been advertised as containing that cancer-fighting agent lycopene. Lycopene is the pigment responsible for giving fruits and vegetables their attractive reddish color. But more than adding color to your food, lycopene has been discovered to have anti-oxidant properties.
This means that lycopene, when consumed by humans, can aid in keeping the body’s immune system healthy and, thus, reduce the risk of cardiovascular ailments, prevent the development of cancer cells in the body, as well as protect the body from a host of other diseases.
Recent researches in Harvard University, including that of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, have in fact revealed that lycopene reduced the risk of prostate cancer in men by 30 to 35% and that those who registered high lycopene content in their body fat were less likely to suffer a heart attack.
Sources of Lycopene
Lycopene can be found mostly in tomatoes, watermelon, red cabbages, pink grapefruit, and pomelo. As a basic rule, the redder the fruit, the richer it is with lycopene. And what comes as a surprise to many researches is that lycopene is best absorbed by the body when taken in from processed tomato products such as tomato paste, pasta sauces, tomato juice, and ketchup. This means that getting your daily dose of this nutritious anti-oxidant lycopene is as easy as dipping that chicken in ketchup and eating that spaghetti or pizza! So when making pasta choices, tomato-based sauces remain your best healthy bet.
Moreover, when deciding for your drink, take a second look and consider that refreshing tomato juice, watermelon shake, or freshly extracted pink grapefruit or pomelo juice instead of your usual soda. Think twice in choosing your dessert, remembering well that a bowl of fresh fruits with watermelon slices is so much better for your health than that cheesecake.
Eating healthy need not be boring and need not be as excruciating as chewing on that spinach or brussel sprouts. When it comes to lycopene, you just have to love it.